Commonwealth Equity Services LLC reduced its holdings in shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) by 24.3% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 50,950 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 16,321 shares during the quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC’s holdings in BCE were worth $2,014,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Several other large investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in BCE. Proficio Capital Partners LLC grew its holdings in shares of BCE by 145.0% in the 4th quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 990 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $39,000 after acquiring an additional 586 shares during the period. Cutler Group LP purchased a new stake in shares of BCE during the fourth quarter worth about $43,000. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of BCE by 31.1% during the fourth quarter. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 1,349 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $53,000 after acquiring an additional 320 shares during the last quarter. Capital Investment Advisory Services LLC purchased a new stake in shares of BCE during the fourth quarter worth about $65,000. Finally, Cerebellum GP LLC purchased a new stake in shares of BCE during the fourth quarter worth about $81,000. 44.10% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
A number of research firms recently commented on BCE. Argus upgraded BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price target for the company in a research note on Friday, March 8th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded BCE from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, February 4th. Finally, National Bank Financial downgraded BCE from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Friday, January 4th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $46.33.
BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.67 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.66 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $6.22 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.19 billion. BCE had a return on equity of 18.87% and a net margin of 12.30%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.82 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that BCE Inc. will post 2.67 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 15th. Investors of record on Friday, March 15th will be paid a $0.604 dividend. This represents a $2.42 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.39%. This is an increase from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 14th. BCE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 83.39%.
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BCE Company Profile
BCE Inc, a telecommunications and media company, provides wireless, wireline, Internet, and television (TV) services to residential, business, and wholesale customers in Canada. The company operates through three segments: Bell Wireless, Bell Wireline, and Bell Media. The Bell Wireless segment offers integrated digital wireless voice and data communications products and services.
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